MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Aaron Brooks and the Houston Rockets were way too much for the Memphis Grizzlies to handle.
These days, almost everyone is.
Brooks had 19 points and eight rebounds to help send Memphis to its fourth loss in five games with a 101-83 victory over the Grizzlies on Friday night.
"We were battling, and they just beat us," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "Ultimately, they take your heart. That's what happens in physical, tough competition."
Trevor Ariza and Carl Landry finished with 17 points apiece, and Luis Scola added 12 points for the Rockets, who have won three of four.
"We played soft," Randolph said. "They did what they wanted to. It was very disappointing. They treated us like little girls."
The shorter Rockets handled the Grizzlies' strong inside game with aggressive defense. Memphis committed 18 turnovers in the game and were outrebounded 50-35.
Little-used Joey Dorsey, who only had one career field goal, scored seven points on 3 of 5 shooting for the Rockets and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Dorsey, who played at the University of Memphis, had only four career boards before Friday night and spent time in both his pro seasons with Rio Grande Valley of the NBA Development League.
"It was very exciting," Dorsey said, acknowledging he was nervous at the start. "It felt like I was in college all over again. It's been a long time since I had that feeling of everybody congratulating me and everything like that. It's very exciting to come back home and play in this arena and do what I did."
Although Memphis enjoyed a height advantage on the inside — the Rockets' tallest starter was the 6-foot-9 Scola — the Grizzlies were unable to capitalize. Not only did the Rockets dominate the boards, they had 19 offensive rebounds and held an 18-12 advantage in second-chance points.
"They out-toughed us," Gay said. "Every statistical category they beat us in, and you're not going to win like that."
Houston held the Grizzlies to 41 percent shooting, including missing eight of nine shots outside the arc.
"When we play defense like that, we feel like we can hang on anybody," Houston forward Shane Battier said. "They had a couple of spurts in the first quarter, but aside from that, we did a great job of protecting the paint, getting it back and transitioning."
Brooks took over in the second half, using his quickness to get to the basket, and firing from long-range. He had 15 points in the third period, helping the Rockets extend the lead to 75-66 entering the fourth.
Houston opened the fourth on a 15-4 run, building the lead to 90-70 as the Memphis fans began to boo. Houston recorded four blocks by the midway point of the quarter, contributing to the Grizzlies missing 10 of their first 13 shots in the quarter.
By that point, Memphis coach Lionel Hollins sat his starters down and the fans were heading to the exits.
The victory moved the Rockets within a game of the Western Conference's final playoff spot, while Memphis' lack of energy and enthusiasm made it appear like they weren't even aware of the standings. Memphis is now two games below Oklahoma City for the last spot.
"Every other team out there is gunning for that eighth and seventh spot and trying to get to the playoffs," Memphis guard Mike Conley said. "Houston's right in the mix, and they understood how big a game with was.
NOTES: Memphis reserve F Darrell Arthur said before the game that he should return to action Tuesday when the Grizzlies play the Atlanta Hawks. Arthur has not played this season after right pectoral surgery in October. ... Houston F Shane Battier, who played his first five seasons for Memphis, still gets a warm reception when he returns, even four seasons after Memphis sent him to Houston for Gay. However, the crowd booed when, in trademark Battier fashion, he drew a first-quarter charge under the basket against Marc Gasol. It wasn't clear if they were booing Battier or the call. ... The Rockets were playing their first road game since Jan. 22. They wrapped up a 6-game home stand with a 2-4 record. ... With the Grizz Girls dancing during the first timeout of the fourth quarter, official Mark Wunderlich came to the scorer's table for a drink of water. "Down in front!" bellowed a fan watching the dancers. Wunderlich looked upward in mock surprise and said: "My bad," and moved down.